Dezeen Magazine

Multithread by Clemens Weisshaar and Reed Kram

Istanbul Design Biennial 2012: design duo Clemens Weisshaar and Reed Kram used custom software to adapt and strengthen the branch-like metal joints of this collection of 3D printed furniture, currently on show at the Istanbul Design Biennial (+ movie).

Multithread by Kram/Weisshaar

The Multithread collection was devised using a software application created by Weisshaar and Kram, which can analyse the forces acting on supports for a slab - in this case a table top or shelf - and automatically alter the shape of the joints to enhance their load-bearing strength.

Multithread by Kram/Weisshaar

The movie above explains that while standard joints work well for symmetrical loads, an asymmetric load places irregular stresses on the joint.

Multithread by Kram/Weisshaar

The Multithread process adapts the joint for asymmetric foces, adding support where required by twisting the joint or increasing its mass.

Multithread by Kram/Weisshaar

Once finalised, the design is exported as a set of digital blueprints to be 3D printed in a selective laser sintering process, which applies powdered metal in layers to build up a shape.

Multithread by Kram/Weisshaar

Tubes are CNC-cut to length to connect the finished joints before the base is painted to illustrate the forces at work, with yellow denoting areas under most stress.

Multithread by Kram/Weisshaar

Originally created as an installation for Nilafur Gallery in Milan, Multithread is now part of the Adhocracy exhibition at the Istanbul Design Biennial, which continues until 12th December. Exhibition curator Joseph Grima told Dezeen in an interview that new technologies are causing a “cultural revolution” that could transform how objects are made and how they look – read our full interview with Grima.

Multithread by Kram/Weisshaar

Swedish designer Reed Kram and German designer Clemens Weisshaar founded their design studio in 2002. Other projects by the designers we've featured on Dezeen include a family of interlocking cast concrete objects and an installation of message-writing robotic arms in Trafalgar Square in London.

See all our stories about Kram/Weisshaar »
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Photographs are by Tom Vack.

Here's some more information from the designers:

Multithread by Clemens Weisshaar and Reed Kram for Nilufar Gallery Salone Internazionale del Mobile Milano 2012

In this installation for Nilufar Gallery, Weisshaar and Kram introduce a new paradigm of Force-Driven Structures. The design of each piece of Multithread furniture begins with a set of horizontal surfaces positioned in space: table top, shelf, desk, etc. A web of thin connecting bars is defined to support these surfaces.Then a custom software created by the designers analyzes, modifies and paints the structure based on the forces passing through it. The final form and colour of each joint is a direct representation of the energy it supports.

The software then outputs a complete set of digital blueprints for the tubes and connecting joints which are subsequently 3D printed by the latest metal printing technology: Selective Laser Melting (SLM). These are then handed to a team of master 21st craftsmen who join the parts together and apply colours to the frame according to the computer generated finite elements calculations. Each joint is custom painted to illustrate the forces acting within it.

Nilufar Gallery hosted this special exhibition together with an installation of important antique Chinese carpets from Nina Yashar’s collection in the Sala Pericoli of the Gio Ponti-designed Palazzo Garzanti on Via della Spiga, Milan from April 16th to 22nd, 2012.

Multithread will be part of the Adhocracy show curated by Joseph Grima at the Istanbul Biennal from October 13 to December 12, 2012 at the former Galata Greek Primary School.